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VN awards friendship medal to US documentary director (Mar 24, 2003)

HA NOI — American filmmaker Peter Davis, director of the Oscar winning documentary Hearts and Minds, has been awarded the "Peace and Friendship among Nations" medal for his contribution to Viet Nam’s struggle for national independence.

The medal was presented last Thursday, marking the occasion of Peter's return to Viet Nam after 30 years by Vu Xuan Hong, President of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organization.

Hearts and Minds tells the story of the American military involvement in Viet Nam through the recollections of politicians, soldiers and everyday citizens.

The film caused quite a stir when it was first released in 1974, and remains a powerful piece of documentary filmmaking.

Born in New York, Peter Davis is a director with a strong anti-war focus. In 1972, he came to Viet Nam, leaving his wife and two children behind. Seeing what was then a poor and war-torn country moved and inspired him to shoot the film as a reminder for the future generations.

Hearts and Minds reflects the realities about the American War such that the audience sees Vietnamese people's iron will in their struggle for national independence and reunification.

The film, winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1974, is now available on DVD from the Criterion Collection.

During Peter's stay in Viet Nam, he has met with several Vietnamese writers and film directors. He plans to write an article about contemporary Viet Nam. — VNS


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